And they’re off! Eminem’s “Detroit vs Everybody,” third single off his compilation album, Shady XV, just jumped out the block. Over Statik Selektah’s menacing piano and rock guitar beat,Detroit rappers sprint (or spit) like a 400 meter relay race. And it looks promising…
Eminem’s “Detroit vs Everybody”
Coming out the gate first is Royce Da 5’9 (off Shady Records), who comes with clever wordplay and serious disses. Check this: “Range Rover, this ain’t the squash beef state / You thinkin’ makeup, we thinkin’ Lark Voorhies face.” Now, that’s a hellava diss to compare Detroit to Ms. Voorhies, whom after playing cutie pie Lisa Turtle on Saved By The Bell, now looks completely different. I ain’t mad at this sage line either: “A wise man told me that holdin’ a grudge is like lettin’ somebody just live inside your head rent free.” Nice. Royce could have topped off his cleverness with a bit more delivery inflection. But no matter; baton pass to Kanye’s Detroit protégé, Big Sean.
Something about Big Sean’s lazy swag just makes you wanna smile. Even though he’s talking major shallow sh*t as usual. “So futuristic, I’m already over my next b**ch.” Now that Big Sean has made it to the Big Leagues, he makes sure to let us know he can even afford a few new clothes, “Used to put fifty on the layaway, now my closet fifty shades of grey.” As for his take on Detroit, it’s a place where “Everybody got a piece but ain’t peaceful.” Well described.
On the third leg, Danny has the shortest verse, but arguably the most stylistic and violent as he paints a dark picture of his city. It’s thirsty, starvin’, and filled with killers who would “Pull the trigger for a Swisher and Miller.” I don’t quite get this line, but it sounds dope: “My city’s tougher than two fat b**ches scissoring.” All in all, Danny’s voice brings it—sounds like a sped up and twanked version of Andre 3000. He’s the stand-out, because Detroit’s finest, Mr. Eminem, holds back his fire.
As the anchor of the rap race, I hoped Shady would let it rip. But it seems like he’s waiting. His “hateful ingeniousness” doesn’t sound that… hateful. At least not up to his usual level of ire. That said, you can always count on Em for slick (and scary) lore, “And it’s still the same sh*t and Shady’s still a lady killer / Since the day I went insane and then attacked the babysitter / With a potato peeler and mushed her face into the entertainment center.” Well, alrighty then. Shady’s still the “angry bitter blonde” we’ve all come to know and love. And what’s this? In a heartwarming shout out, he raps that if he ever escaped the D, he would still “Break all of my friends out of here and take ‘em straight to the Mercedes dealer.” Awww. Em, you shouldn’t have.
Statik and Dej Loaf’s hook is fire. It sounds like a baby pumpin’ his fist in the air. But even though the concept is strong, “Detroit vs Everybody” is not near fire enough to crown the East Coast king or spark a rivalry. If Em really wanted to vs EVERYBODY, his whole crew needed to deliver with way more intensity. This song holds back like a crouching tiger. Maybe the hidden dragon will emerge in Snoop’s clap back.
Snoop recently posted an image on Instagram hinting at a Los Angeles response remix to Eminem’s recent single. The image lists such names as The Game, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, YG, Problem, Nipsey Hussle, Crooked I, Kurupt, Don Kennedy, Tyler, The Creator–and of course, the Dogg Father of the West Coast, Snoop D-o-gg. As a Californian, I’m excited to hear a possible “Los Angeles vs Everybody” track! Will Snoop Dogg’s LA cut the mustard and out-everybody Slim Shady’s Detroit? We shall see.